Identifcation of partially occluded map symbols

Jari Korpi*, Mohammad Haybatollahi, Paula Ahonen-Rainio

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Maps should be legible at all scales, and the information density of a map should be adapted to fulfll this goal. However, there are situations in which overlapping symbols might not be easily avoided. Tese kinds of cluttered or over-plotted situations often occur today in geovisual analytics and in map mash-ups created using Web 2.0 technologies. In this research project, we examine via a user test the extent to which occluded symbols can still be identifable. Specifcally, we tested how diferent levels of occlusion afected the accuracy and response time of fnding symbols that varied in either color hue, abstract shape, or pictogram. Te results of the test show that the efciency of the symbols decreases when the symbols become partially occluded. Still, even half-occluded complex shapes can be identifed quite accurately. Symbols varying in color hue seem to tolerate occlusion the best.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-32
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Map congestion
    • Map symbols
    • Occlusion
    • Overlapping symbols
    • Pictograms
    • Symbol design
    • Visual variables


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